SoCal cities, nonprofits receive millions for gun-violence prevention, Newsom announces – San Bernardino Sun

Cities and nonprofits across Southern California will receive millions of dollars combined from California to implement gun violence-prevention programs, part of $156 million in grants statewide that Gov. Gavin Newsom announced on Thursday, June 9.

The money, which Newsom announced just two weeks after the tragic school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, will come from the California’s Board of State and Community Corrections.

San Bernardino, Long Beach, Hemet, Pasadena and Pomona are on the list of 79 cities and nonprofits that will receive money from the latest round of the California Violence Intervention and Prevention Grant Program.

The grants will go to cities and organizations throughout the Southland, including the Inland Empire, and Los Angeles and Orange counties.

CalVIP, which in 2017 replaced the former California Gang Reduction, Intervention and Prevention grant program, is intended to provide funding to cities and community organizations in areas disproportionately impacted by violence.

Applicants submitted grant proposals in November for the fourth cycle of awards, and the funds will get dispersed beginning next month and continuing to Dec. 31, 2023.

The state will reopen applications for prevention proposals on Friday, June 10, to award the remaining $53 million in the CalVIP grant fund. Proposals are due by 5 p.m. Friday, July 15.

“The CalVIP program has been great to augment the work of police and have a hands-on approach to intervening with gang and group violence,” San Bernardino city spokesman Jeff Kraus said Thursday.

San Bernardino will receive $3.8 million for an ongoing program designed to break the cycle of community violence citywide and improve outcomes for young people at-risk of violence. The program uses street outreach, trauma-informed and culturally relevant interventions, and other means to do so.

CalVIP awarded the city $500,000 during the initial grant period and another $1.5 million the second time, said David Miranda, the San Bernardino program’s director.

That money has helped fund the city’s intervention program for the past three years.

San Bernardino’s grant, Kraus said, “will allow us to expand the (violence intervention) program and pay (program leaders) more for the next three years.”

Newsom announced the grants as the country grapples with the fallout from several recent high-profile mass shootings, which has renewed conversations about gun regulations and the role of firearms in America.

Last month, an 18-year-old gunman fatally shot 19 children and two adults at an elementary school in Uvalde.

Nine days earlier, a gunman killed one and wounded five others during a Taiwanese luncheon at a Laguna Woods church.

And one day before that, 10 Black people were killed during a shooting at a Buffalo, New York, supermarket — an attack police called a hate crime.

The shootings once again catalyzed efforts to create tighter gun control measures.

The annual March For Our Lives, which advocates greater gun safety and firearm regulations, will take place across more than 300 cities nationwide on Saturday, June 11.

Yet, any federal action on gun control proposals is unlikely, with Republican members of Congress fiercely opposed to regulations that they say would infringe upon the Second Amendment’s guarantee of the right to bear arms.

Even  California saw the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit strike down one of its gun regulations recently.

“While gridlock and division block progress on the national stage,” Newsom said in a Thursday statement. “California is leading the way with commonsense gun safety laws and prevention programs like CalVIP that save lives.”

This latest round of state grants will see Long Beach receive $3.9 million for a citywide safe-communities program, focused on 13 neighborhoods in the northern and central parts of the seaside metropolis that are disproportionately impacted by gun violence.

The program will expand the city’s gun violence response protocol, increase interventionist/peacekeeper engagement, and provide supportive services and economic opportunities to youth and families harmed by gun violence.

Pasadena will receive $2.5 million for a program that aims to interrupt the cycle of youth gang and gun violence by identifying at-risk and high-risk young people.

The state will give Pomona even more cash — $5.1 million. That money will go toward establishing an Office of Violence Prevention and Neighborhood Wellbeing.

That office will serve residents who are at the highest risk of being involved in, and those most directly affected by, violent crime. It will do so through street outreach, community stakeholder engagement, cognitive behavioral therapy, diversion, job resources, intensive case management, mental health services and mentoring.

Hemet will receive $964,000 to develop a “Community Wide Collaborative” to better understand the dynamics of violence in the community. That program will also work on interrupting the cycle of violence and providing ongoing life coaching.

The Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County and the Inland Empire, meanwhile, is among the organizations receiving grants, as are Centinela Youth Services in Inglewood, Homeboy Industries and the Los Angeles Brotherhood Crusade, and Black United Fund, Inc.

Ari Freilich, state policy director at Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, touted the grants in a statement.

“Dozens of programs across the state will soon be able to expand their work to reach and heal more survivors,” Freilich said, “stop more retaliations, train the next generation of violence intervention professionals, and keep more families whole and safe and free from violence.”

California was ranked as the top state in the nation for gun safety last year, according to the Giffords Law Center.

The state’s gun death rate is 37% lower than the national average and Californians are 25% less likely to die in a mass shooting compared to residents of other states.

“We’re doubling down on these successful measures – tested and proven in California every day – as part of an all-of-the-above approach to making our communities safer,” Newsom said, “and ending the tragic cycle of violence playing out in schools, churches, workplaces and public spaces across the country.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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